School Sports Are The Key

Categories Domestic Affairs, Politics, Society, Sport
Prep Sport Football 4

In the run up to the London 2012 the British government has set about plugging grass roots sport as much as they possibly can. As with most recent schemes the money spent has been horribly misallocated and therefore I, as a member of various sports clubs and organisations, have not seen any noticeable benefit.

I am of the opinion that the sports development should have been focused a lot more on school sports and not ridiculous school sports that seem to have crept in (ultimate frisbee I’m looking at you), it should be spent on main school sports clubs such as football, rugby and netball. We have a very poor sporting culture in this country whereby all except the top sportsmen are almost completely ignored by the general public. I’m willing to bet that the average number of spectators to a completely non-professional sporting event in Britain is less than ten and I’d be willing to accept that it is less than 5.

This lack if support is unacceptable for a country that is, not only seeking to promote sport at the present, but also invented most international sports. Take American high schools as an example, a lot of these schools are so well funded that they have ready made stadiums and purpose built facilities for their teams. Plus they fill these facilities quite regularly. The sporting culture is a lot more prominent in the states, it is even acceptable to televise some high school sporting events such as basketball, a) because the standard is high enough due to quality coaching and b) people are much more interested in watching local kids and grassroots sportsmen play.

If the government focused more on funding school sports and getting spectators to be interested in it rather than making schools maximum security health and safety zones then, after a while, the overall standard of sportsmen and women in this country would dramatically improve. This also manages to hit two birds with one stone as it would serve as an antidote to the country’s ever growing obesity problem. Our professional sports-people should be coming straight from our schools, they shouldn’t have to leave the state education system early in order pursue a career in sport. This way sports become a lot more accessible to everyone and we can ensure that our children are getting a wider education. Children who leave school to attend a sports academy are generally left disappointed as there are only a number of people who can become Premier League footballers or Olympic athletes and so a majority have to miss out. If these athletes had stayed in the school system then their education would be broader and they would have other qualifications in order to build a career.

Schemes such as Sainsbury’s Active Kids promotion are doing a good job of keeping schools well equipped in terms of basic equipment but in a lot of schools the infrastructure isn’t there for it to be a success. Take for instance my local school where we have just had a huge drive for media studies. We have high tech, Apple Mac filled media suites and lecturing facilities which are really fancy and make the school look great. But only a few metres away we have dilapidated tennis courts with faded markings and rough tarmac. Just a bit further than that is our expanse of sports field which has to be used for multiple sports on literally the same pitch at the same time. There are no areas for spectators here, this is purely a private affair and so sports clubs have slowly died away up until the point where there are NO sports clubs that run for my age group. No training, no matches, no tournaments. So it’s not hard to guess how many potential professional athletes are graduating from my school this year because, as is the same in most state schools in Britain it is close to zero.

Currently studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Annes College, Oxford University. I have a keen interest in applied economics, food and most types of sport.

17 thoughts on “School Sports Are The Key

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  2. スーパーコピーモンクレール 長年にわたって、ブランパンのトゥールビヨンとの間を揺れ動くカルーセルの時計を作っていたと考えられ、2013年に、ブランパン、単に同じ運動の両方のメカニズムを含んだヴィルレカルーセルのトゥールビヨン(ここでは実際のリリース)。長い話を短くするために、私はカルーセルブランパンで選り抜きの贅沢な合併症としてのトゥールビヨンを打つことと思いません、しかし、ブランドは限られた数の両方を生産し続けます、少なくとも、それが来るとき、カルーセルへ。口径2322などの動きはとても面白いと集められるが、私の考えでは、彼らはブランドから専用の運動愛好家の選ばれた数への声明として作用するためである。私は実際に見て、新しい近代的な2322v2 2015年までにおける2322運動の復活を見て非常に驚きました。

  3. 私は、私が私がどれくらいのスポーツ好きの言うことができるかどうかわからない。スポーツと腕時計:それらの2つのブラケットは、私がこれまでに持っていたと思いますあらゆる趣味を含みます。とマンチェスターの中心から20分で育ちました。パネライスーパーコピーサッカーの重要な歯のエスケープホイールにとって重要であると言っているように私に言います。しかし、私は、ブローヴァマンチェスターユナイテッドクラブウォッチについて聞いたとき、私は興奮よりも神経質でした。私はしばしば私の2つの大好きな分野の融合について疑問にふけっていました、私がどのようにアリゾナ・カージナルスロゴは、贅沢な腕時計のダイヤルの上で高級に見えさせる、というトロントメープルリーフスのバッジの可能性を考えてクラウンに愛国的な見えないのか不思議と国民の巻き毛の「w」またはkiddishにクールに見えますストラップにエンボス加工したならば?私は唯一の失敗は、大胆な生意気なスポーツのしるしとの組み合わせを待ち受けていたと推測しました、そして洗練された文化的な腕時計のデザインとした。しかし、ブローバ私が間違っていますか?

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  13. Hey Matt,
    I know your love for the US and capitalism, but you can’t expect the government to fund the establishment of a number of stadiums.

    Firstly, as I’m sure you know Colleges in the US charge phenominal fees for students and so will obviously have larger budgets for building such Stadiums, whilst fees are increasing here in the UK, it’s still not to the level that will ensure that grassroot sports are televised as they are in the UK.

    Secondly, if you actually watch many of the college games, it’s not just the sport they go for, there are marching bands, cheerleaders etc and this allows for greater interest in attendance, surely if the UK wishes to increase it’s attendance it should look to provide more attractions thus promoting a culture where people do attend games and become more social.

    Just my thoughts.

    1. Thanks for the comment, I do agree that governments shouldn’t pay for the stadium. But if spectators were frequent and the demand was big enough then they could promote private investment to build these sort of facilities and then the investors can profit from the gate receipts.

      I also agree that additional entertainment should be provided, we have excellent musicians and performers etc in all schools who are just looking for somewhere to perform. Plus I’m sure that cheer leading would have a huge uptake.

  14. Hey matt
    its sport so i thought i would have a browse

    i agree with some of what your saying but some is quite contradictory.

    You talk a lot about the US system but one of the first things you mentioned was that all but the top sportsmen in the country are ignored. This is exactly what happens in the US sports development system and elite sporting pathways for both major league, team sports and olympic selection. At each stage the best are able to progress while those who dont quite make the grade are cut at each stage in the progression. There are also very few opportunities for them to get back involved in sport after being cut especially for getting to an elite level whereas in the UK there are programs for athletes who have not quite made it. For example pitch to podium is a UK sport initiative that moves games players from football and rugby, who haven’t quite made it in to olympic sports as they are still very talented athletes who have been trained to a high level already (saving UK sport money by having to put in the initial work).

    The UK has many programs to sustain interest and participation in sport and even their Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) programs are now used as athlete retention schemes rather than purely to produce elite. These progress from 4 year olds through the most competitive sport stages in your life to continued participation in active for life schemes within the same sport or by transferring to lower impact sports in the active for life scheme such as badminton (played at individuals pace) golf and swimming.

    Spectators also do attend sporting events which are not professional (more than 10). Going to go on about my sport, sorry. Karate has had and still does get spectators through the doors, i agree that it is more so abroad, but at many national and international events held in the UK spectators are not even just wanting to wonder in for free, they are paying fees (sometimes up to £10) to watch a non professional sport in this country.
    In the early days of the 3 on 3 event and before the 10k event (In terms of £10000 prize money) became paid events – both which have now ended – were filling 5000 seater arenas in London for a sport with no dollar (before advertising and therefore money were brought in, then it did increase further)

    The US do bring in massive numbers of spectators for high school events, but the stadiums are completely private funded. This kind of funding is not seen as valuable by UK businesses and fewer business are around (because we a smaller country) to put money into a huge stadium at every high school.
    yes the standard, for many sports is higher, but this is only because the best progress and everyone else is cut. The system only works in the US due to the massive amount of people in the country. Their system could be adopted by very few other countries in the world because they simply dont have the the number of people the US has (other than china – they could, they huge).
    The UK would be unable to as we cant afford to drop people at each stage and sometimes the crap will have to be used, and is developed so they are good enough.
    The UK, Australian and what was (and developed from) the East German system of high performance centres, centres of excellence and sport academies has been proven to work. By the Germans through being a tiny country and coming 2nd in the 1976 montreal games (where australia did very poorly taking 1 gold), then by the Australians, again a small country, who copied the East German system by creating the Australian institute of sport in 1981 and who now have more medals per number of people in the country than any country in the world (and they tiny) and finally by the UK who are creeping up in the world rankings (4th in beijing 2008 and we pretty small too). The system works for small countries. Yes the US system is probably THE BEST system but we simply are unable to replicate it.

    I’ll shut up soon, but

    Finally you said about pumping more money into school sport. It would have an affect, could increase participation and therefore the possible pool of talent available in the country but putting money in to the elite has more than one benefit and not just for athletes.

    Success at major games causes a feel good factor within a country, the East Germans used their system to restore pride and show to their people that being locked in a country was good as well as trying to show to the rest of the world that their communist system worked and using sport as their shop window. It was used to hide the massive debts and the crap the country was going through by momentarily restoring the pride of the people through a few medals.

    Also, pumping money into schools will always have a waste associated with it. There is always going to be the people who dont like sport and are never going to, according to sport England this equates to 20% of our population.

    Finland are in the bottom 10 of the amount of money put in to schools and there participation rate and therefore obesity and heart disease levels are very low. They have 70% of their population taking part in at least 5, 30 minute sessions of exercise per week, whereas this is 32% in the UK.

    Success in elite sport encourages participation, put money into elite and aiding and increasing possibility of success is therefore useful. Funding elite gives role models. Look at the rugby world cup in 2003. at grass roots the number of people signing up for rugby increased drastically. The Wimbledon effect (thought it would help win you over by putting something tennis in, ha) for the 2 weeks it is on every year you’re going to struggle to find any space on a tennis court throughout the country.

    There you go, 2 years of PE has been useful. sorry i went on a bit, hope you enjoy.

    1. Thanks for the comment Joby.

      You obviously have an awesome knowledge of what goes on in national and international youth sporting circles due to your involvement in karate and your PE studies and I found some of the examples you provided about government organisations which rehabilitate athletes to be very surprising as I didn’t even know whey existed.

      I do however feel that we have had two very different experiences in Sport in terms of spectators. You mention that karate events can fill 5000 seater stadiums with paid seating but I’m willing to bet those are international competitions? or at least regional/national competitions? While these are not professional tournaments, as in the athletes are not paid, they are still probably of a standard where they are almost at the top of the game.

      For the sports that I play we very rarely see any spectators. Obviously I play at a much much lower level than you do karate but this is kind of the problem I’m talking about as it seems that very few people are keen to support grassroots local clubs unless they are fully involved with club affairs as a player of officials. For every high class sporting event that fills 5000 seats as you mentioned earlier there are most likely 100s of tennis matches which go by without anyone watching or supporting, or kids football matches for the local village team where only the parents watch.

      It’s also a problem that spectators are almost disallowed at school sports due to paedophile fears and so these sports are seen unnecessary.

      You mention in your comment that US athletes are not reentering back into sport but I think this can be partially attributed to the fact that they may not have pinned everything on it as they are playing it inside high school and therefore gain qualifications that enable them to pursue other careers. That’s the problem I see in Britain as kids have to go to specialist places to pursue sporting careers and so miss out on the other qualifications that would help them in other areas.

      Your final point about professional sporting events increasing interest for grass roots sport is true but in the long term how many of these people stick with playing support or just go back to doing nothing as they lack the support to carry on playing due to lack of funding and local interest?

      1. Hey

        just a couple of things

        I see what you’re saying about some grass roots sport getting very few spectators in but i think this isn’t always due to standards. Recently Banbury rugby club played Bicester at a colts game. Around 50-60 people showed up for it because they were told about it. The problem with getting spectators in may not be due to the standard but instead the amount of advertising that goes alongside it. If people new about it they are much more likely to come along and watch any standard.

        You also mentioned about the academic qualifications that can be gained. However, if athletes are cut at a young age, they may not be able to progress any further in their academic career. They may not have the brains or money to get in to colleges and therefore obtain these qualifications without sport.

        Finally, you said about some going back to doing nothing. The “on the subs bench” part of sport England segments is about 44% of the population (i think). Sport England say they would get involved if it is made easy enough for them or they are encourage to do so. Olympic games and elite sport increase the provision by creating more facilities. For example loughborough swimming pool on the uni campus is open to the public, it is a 7 million pound facility – how encouraging would that be to be able to use something that good. The legacy of olympic games also will go on for quite a long time and will sustain some participation. After this, continued support of elite athletes means continued success and this will continually sustain or re-engage this part of sport England’s segments.


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